Amazon Rain-Forest Fires

Science  04 Jan 1985:
Vol. 227, Issue 4682, pp. 53-55
DOI: 10.1126/science.227.4682.53


Charcoal is common in the soils of mature rain forests within 75 kilometers of San Carlos de Rio Negro in the north central Amazon Basin. Carbon-14 dates of soil charcoal from this region indicate that numerous fires have occurred since the mid-Holocene epoch. Charcoal is most common in tierra firme forest Oxisols and Ultisols and less common in caatinga and igapo forest soils. Climatic changes or human activities, or both, have caused rain-forest fires.